Sri Lanka stocks close lower, Janashakthi Insurance fall below issue price

July 21, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended lower Monday dragged down by falls in heavyweight stocks while Janashakthi Insurance Company ended below its issue price on its debut after briefly trading higher. The All Share Price Index fell 1.32 percent (31.81 points) to 2,380.57 while the Milanka fell 1.33 percent (38.23 points) to 2,843.68. Turnover was 177 million rupees.

Janashakthi Insurance was the highest traded stock, accounting for 44 percent of volume with 1.5 million shares changing hands.

But it ended at 10.75 rupees, down 1.25 on its issue price of 12 rupees, after hitting a high of 13.50.

John Keells Holdings ended down 1.25 at 103.25 rupees.

Trading in the stock was halted to disseminate news that the supreme court had ordered the return of a block of Colombo port land which went with Lanka Marine Services, the JKH bunkering unit, back to the government.

But the court did not reverse the sale of shares of LMS to John Keells in a privatization program, lawyers said.

Sri Lanka Telecom ended down 1.75 at 41.75 rupees. Dialog Telekom closed flat at 13.75 rupees.

Carson Cumberbatch was down 100 rupees at 4,000 rupees while Asian Hotels lost 2,50 to close at 36 rupees.